Is your local stream suffering from too much dirt or silt, which smothers the plants and wildlife in it? This is a common problem, often because of poorly protected construction sites, farms, or roads. I want to share a set of materials that some of your peers like Mobile Baykeeper are using to train volunteers to monitor for runoff from construction sites.
The Muddy Water Watch program trains volunteers to identify when systems are working properly, and how to report problems to contractors and enforcement agencies. Volunteers can use this field guide to identify and document pollution sources, or this smartphone app to snap a photo and submit a report.
This is a great way to stay engaged with community members and build your volunteers’ affinity for your organization all while actually getting more work done. Enforcement agencies and your own staff do not have unlimited capacity to do monitoring, so empowering volunteers is a great way to make progress.